Glyndebourne's Tour exhibition explores the theme of disguise in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro
Disguise takes myriad forms in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro or The Marriage of Figaro. A dress makes a pretty girl of a soldier; a veil transforms a maid into a noblewoman; darkness turns a faithful wife into an illicit lover; a title makes a gentleman of a charlatan. But masks and costumes are only the start of the deception in a drama where private selves must be publicly concealed, where seeming and being are never quite the same thing.
Le nozze di Figaro is Glyndebourne’s longest running and perhaps best loved opera. It opened the inaugural Festival in 1934 and has remained in the repertoire ever since, with just six productions to date. Our Tour exhibition delves into the opera’s history at Glyndebourne as seen through the lens of stage designers, photographers and contemporary artists. Alongside historic works from our Collections, In Disguise also charts the phenomenal popularity of Figaro as a visual source for contemporary artists. This includes eight of the ten shortlisted artists from this year’s Tour Art Competition, which invited responses to the theme of ‘disguise’.
Disguise can conceal or amplify, shapeshift and communicate about other times and places. Masks, costumes, illusion and props are all performative tools for us to enter other realities, inviting us to explore the hidden dimensions in our own lives.
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